Minecraft for Higher Ed? Try it. Pros, Cons, Recommendations?
Description: Why Minecraft, the online video game? How can Minecraft improve learning for higher education? We’ll begin with a live demo in which all can participate (see “Minecraft for Free”). We’ll review “Examples, Not Rumors” of successful adaptations and USES of Minecraft for teaching/learning in higher education. Especially those submitted in advance And we’ll try to extract from these activities a few recommendations/questions/requests re Minecraft in higher education.
These affordances develop both social and cognitive abilities of students
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Nebel, S., Schneider, S., & Daniel Rey, G. (2016). Mining Learning and Crafting Scientific Experiments: A Literature Review on the Use of Minecraft in Education and Research. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19(192), 355–366. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/jeductechsoci.19.2.355
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An introduction to digital badges and a brief history
Simply put, a digital badge is an indicator of accomplishment or skill that can be displayed, accessed, and verified online. These badges can be earned in a wide variety of environments, an increasing number of which are online.
The anatomy of digital badges
In addition to the image-based design we think of as a digital badge, badges have meta-data to communicate details of the badge to anyone wishing to verify it, or learn more about the context of the achievement it signifies.
The many functions of digital badges
Just like their real-world counterparts, digital badges serve a wide variety of purposes depending on the issuing body and the individual. For the most part, badges’ functions can be bucketed into one of five categories.
Badges are issued by individual organizations who set criteria for what constitutes earning a badge. They’re most often issued through an online credential or badging platform.
Criticism of digital badges
There are various arguments to be made against the implementation of digital badges, including the common issuance of seemingly “meaningless” badges.
The future of digital badges
With the rise of online education and the increasing availability of high quality massive open online courses, there will be an increasing need for verifiable digital badges and digital credentials.
con?:with the advent of personal assistants like Siri and Google Now that aim to serve up information before you even know you need it, you don’t even need to type the questions.
pro: Whenever new technology emerges — including newspapers and television — discussions about how it will threaten our brainpower always crops up, Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker wrote in a 2010 op-ed in The New York Times. Instead of making us stupid, he wrote, the Internet and technology “are the only things that will keep us smart.”
Pro and con: Daphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Geneva, wrote in 2011 that we may have lost the ability for oral memorization valued by the Greeks when writing was invented, but we gained additional skills of reading and text analysis.
con: Daphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Geneva, wrote in 2011 that we may have lost the ability for oral memorization valued by the Greeks when writing was invented, but we gained additional skills of reading and text analysis.
con: A 2008 study commissioned by the British Library found that young people go through information online very quickly without evaluating it for accuracy.
pro or con?: A 2011 study in the journal Science showed that when people know they have future access to information, they tend to have a better memory of how and where to find the information — instead of recalling the information itself.
pro: The bright side lies in a 2009 study conducted by Gary Small, the director of University of California Los Angeles’ Longevity Center, that explored brain activity when older adults used search engines. He found that among older people who have experience using the Internet, their brains are two times more active than those who don’t when conducting Internet searches.
the Internet holds great potential for education — but curriculum must change accordingly. Since content is so readily available, teachers should not merely dole out information and instead focus on cultivating critical thinking
make questions “Google-proof.”
“Design it so that Google is crucial to creating a response rather than finding one,” he writes in his company’s blog. “If students can Google answers — stumble on (what) you want them to remember in a few clicks — there’s a problem with the instructional design.”
Project Hikari: Tales of the Wedding Rings lets you walk into a manga and become part of the story.
Japanese company Square Enix is looking to broaden the VR storytelling conversation by bringing 3 genres together into one incredible VR experience with Project Hikari: Tales of the Wedding Rings,
“We wanted to do something differently with this technology—we wanted to take VR into a different kind of direction,” Sou told VRScout in an interview. “We asked ourselves: how do we make content that is really unique, and something only our company can do?”
The team realized that manga could provide a creative new avenue of immersive story. Their approach was to create a style that blends animation and comic—giving you the ability to move in and out of panels. Sometimes you can see a range of still panels, others you’re engulfed in the animation of one scene.
I worried that the linear narrative of the manga might interfere with the immersion of VR, or that voiceover narration would keep me from discovering aspects of the story myself.
That worry was completely eliminated almost immediately the moment I put the headset on and the experience began. The Square Enix team was very creative with how they used narration along with the animation within the panels to bring the experience to life. I loved this VR take on the manga, and found Tales of the Wedding Rings to be an incredible experience that honored both mediums.
It’s a cross-section of a lot of different mediums because you have VR, manga (comics), and animation
Oculus Connect, starting Wednesday in San Jose, California. Facebook’s Oculus VR division promises discussions on how health care, movies and video games are adapting to this still nascent technology. One panel will explore how the disability community can benefit from VR gear and presentations.
Over the summer, Apple and Google announced new technologies called ARKit and ARCore, respectively, that are designed to help iPhones and iPads or any device powered by Google’s Android software marry computer-generated images with the real world.
A $2.99 app, Star Guide AR, highlights stars and constellations in the sky once you point your phone at them. Another, Ikea Place, previews furniture in your home with a tap. Walk around your living room and you can see the furniture you placed while looking through the screen on your phone. So far, both are available only for the iPhone.
App developers I spoke with say they’re excited by augmented reality and believe it may help spur people to buy VR systems as well.
Nebel, S., Schneider, S., & Rey, G. D. (2016). Mining Learning and Crafting Scientific Experiments: A Literature Review on the Use of Minecraft in Education and Research. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 19(2), 355-366.
David Demaine, S., Lemmer, C. A., Keele, B. J., & Alcasid, H. (2015). Using Digital Badges to Enhance Research Instruction in Academic Libraries. In B. L. Eden (Ed.), Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Innovations That Make a Difference (2015th ed.). Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2882671
At their best, badges can create a sort of interactive e-resume.
the librarian may be invited into the classroom, or the students may be sent to the Iibrary for a single research lesson on databases and search tem1s- not enough for truly high-quality research. A better alternative may be that the professor require the students to complete a series of badges- designed, implemented, and managed by the librarian- that build thorough research skills and ultimately produce a better paper.
Meta- badges are s impl y badges that indicate comp letion o f multiple related badges.
Authentication (determining that the badge has not been altered) and validation/verification (checking that the badge has actually been earned and issued by the stated issuer) are major concerns. lt is also important, particularly in the academic context, to make sure that the badge does not come to replace the learning it represents. A badge is a symbol that other skills and knowledge exist in this individual’s portfolio of skills and talents. Therefore, badges awarded in the educational context must reflect time and effort and be based on vetted standards, or they will become empty symbols
Digital credentialing recognizes “learning of many kinds which are acquired beyond formal education institutions .. . ; it proliferates and disperses author- ity over what learning to recognize; and it provides a means of translation and commensuration across multiple spheres” (Oineck, 2012, p. I)
University digital badge projects are rarely a top-down undertaking. Typi- cally, digital badge programs arise from collaborative efforts “of people agi- tating from the middle” (Raths, 2013).
blockchain is a database or digital ledger. The data in the ledger is arranged in batches known as blocks, with each block storing data about a specific transaction. The blocks are linked together using cryptographic validation to form an unbroken and unbreakable chain–hence the name blockchain. As it relates to bitcoin, the blocks are monetary units, and the chain includes information about all past transactions of that monetary unit.
Importantly, the database (i.e., the series of blocks) is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers, meaning that it has no one central repository. This not only means that the records are truly public, but also that there is no centralized version of the data for a hacker to corrupt. In order to make changes to the ledger, consensus between all members of the group must be obtained, further adding to the system’s security.
1. Blockchain for the Future of Credentialing
With today’s technologies, graduates and prospective employers must go through a tedious process to obtain student transcripts or diplomas, and this complexity is compounded when these credentials are spread across multiple institutions. Not only that, but these transcripts can take days or weeks to produce and send, and usually require a small fee be paid to the institution.LinkedLinek
This could be a key enabler to facilitate student ownership of this data and would allow them to instantly produce secure and comprehensive credentials to any institute or employer requesting them, including information about a student’s performance on standardized tests, degree requirements, extracurricular activities, and other learning activities.
Blockchain could play a major role in Competency-Based Education (CBE) programs and micro-credentialing, which are becoming ever more popular across universities and internal business training programs.
various companies are currently working on such a system of record. One of the most well-known is called “BlockCert,” which is an open standard created by MIT Media Lab and which the institute hopes will help drive the adoption of blockchain credentialing.
imagine the role that LinkedIn or a similar platform could play in the distribution of such content. Beyond verification of university records, LinkedIn could become a platform for sharing verified work history and resumes as well, making the job application process far simpler
2. Blockchain’s Financial Implications and Student debt
how could blockchain influence student finances? For starters, financial aid and grants could be tied to student success. Instead of students and universities having to send over regular progress reports on a recipient’s performance, automatic updates to a student’s digital record would ensure that benchmarks were being met–and open up new opportunities for institutions looking to offer merit-based grants.
Electronic tuition payments and money transfers could also simplify the tuition process. This is an especially appealing option for international students, as bitcoin’s interchangeable nature and lack of special fees for international transfers makes it a simpler and more cost-effective payment method.